One of the first decisions you will make for your child is what to feed her. Be sure to consider the method you are already equipped for, breastfeeding.
Here at Choices Pregnancy Center we would like to answer some questions that every new mom has regarding breastfeeding.
What would I need in order to breastfeed?
Just you and your baby. Your body is perfectly designed to produce the best kind of milk your baby needs: breast milk.
Is breast milk enough for a growing baby?
Yes! Breast milk changes to keep up with your growing baby. Right after your child is born, you can give her colostrum, the “liquid gold” that builds her immunities.Within a few days, your regular milk will “let down” and provide a mixture of nutrients:
- Fats – healthy fats and cholesterol to develop her brain and other parts of her nervous system.
- Proteins – the building blocks of her body. The proteins in breast milk are perfectly balanced to be easily digested. Think sweeter-smelling diapers, less constipation and diarrhea.
- Vitamins – your “bio-available” vitamins are easy for a baby’s system to absorb and use.
- Carbohydrates – mainly lactose, to supply energy and help your baby absorb the minerals she needs. Lactose also makes milk taste sweet, so your baby will like it!
How will I feel while breastfeeding?
The cuddling and skin-to-skin contact can help you feel emotionally close to your baby. At the same time, your body will produce hormones that actually help you relax. Like anything new, breastfeeding can be a challenge at first, but once you have a routine it can feel deeply satisfying. You will get used to the sensations in your breasts that signal feeding time. Because it’s a natural function of your body, breastfeeding will eventually feel very normal.
Is breastfeeding healthy?
Yes! For your baby, your breast milk will keep delivering germ-fighting antibodies. That means she will probably suffer less from ear infections, colds, asthma, food allergies and skin problems than a formula-fed baby.
For information on benefits for you, read this article: “7 Ways Breastfeeding Benefits Mothers.”
Right away, you’ll notice that breastfeeding burns calories (200-500 a day) and helps shrink your uterus back to size. Bottom line…you may lose your pregnancy weight faster!
Are there any other benefits?
Yes! Here are a few more breastfeeding benefits:
- Saves money. The milk is free, compared to up to $1500 per year for formula and bottles. And a healthier baby will mean fewer doctor bills.
- Always ready. No mixing, measuring, warming, sterilizing, refrigerating, cleaning up. That’s especially nice at midnight!
- Postpones your period. You’ll conserve your body’s iron and recover well before another pregnancy can occur.
For more information on the growing popularity of breastfeeding and its benefits, click on the image below.
If you’re still unsure about how you want to feed your baby, consider talking with someone who can help you evaluate your options. Contact us, or just stop in and talk to one of the ladies on our friendly staff about making good decisions for your baby—and yourself.